Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To draw back or shy away, as from fear; flinch.
  • v. Variant of blanch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To shrink; start back; give way; flinch; turn aside or fly off.
  • v. (of the eye) To quail.
  • v. To deceive; cheat.
  • v. To draw back from; shrink; avoid; elude; deny, as from fear.
  • v. To hinder; obstruct; disconcert; foil.
  • n. A deceit; a trick.
  • n. A sideling glance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To shrink; to start back; to draw back, from lack of courage or resolution; to flinch; to quail.
  • intransitive v. To fly off; to turn aside.
  • transitive v. To baffle; to disconcert; to turn away; -- also, to obstruct; to hinder.
  • transitive v. To draw back from; to deny from fear.
  • n. A looking aside or askance.
  • v. To grow or make pale.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shrink; start back; give way; flinch; turn aside or fly off.
  • To quail: said of the eye.
  • To deceive; cheat.
  • To draw back from; shirk; avoid; elude; deny from fear.
  • To hinder or obstruct; disconcert; foil.
  • n. A deceit; a trick.
  • n. A sidelong glance.
  • Upon or based upon the payment of a nominal or trifling yearly duty: applied to a sort of tenure of land: as, the estate is held blench of the crown. See blanch-holding.
  • To become pale; blanch.
  • To make white; blanch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. turn pale, as if in fear

Etymologies

Middle English blenchen, from Old English blencan, to deceive; see bhel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English blenchen, from Old English blencan ("to deceive, cheat"), from Proto-Germanic *blankijanan (“to deceive”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhleg- (“to burn, shine, scorch”). Cognate with Icelandic blekkja ("to deceive, cheat, impose upon"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • The mouth of the river was barred by a rosy, drowsy sunrise; the sky had lost its stars, and had blenched, and was being flooded by a brave daylight blue...

    - Rebecca West, The Judge

    July 17, 2009